Stephanie Osborne,’09, is a lobbyist for an international oil & gas company in Washington, D.C. In response to an email to our Honors Former Students, Stephanie wrote to share how her experience in Honors has helped shape her career.
Stephanie’s comments join a larger conversation about the value of Honors Education. For more of this conversation, see “What’s the Point of an Honors College, Anyway,” by Dr. Nancy West (Mizzou),
My parents (both die-hard Baylor grads) were furious when I chose to go to A&M. I decided to prove them wrong, that I would not be a small fish in a big pond. I did pretty much anything and everything I could during my time at A&M including:
- graduating with LBAR [Liberal Arts], University & Foundation Honors
- studied abroad twice (Moscow & Kyrgyzstan)
- international research in Moscow for my Honors Fellows Capstone Thesis
- doubled majored and double minored
- LBAR Student Council
- pledged and served on leadership in my sorority
- president of the Aggie International Ambassadors
- worked part time during the school year and full time in the summers I wasn’t abroad
- Academy for Future Int’l Leaders
– and never missed an Aggie Football or Basketball game. If it was an option, I did it! And I think I am still trying to catch up on sleep many years later!
I’ve been reflecting on my time at A&M—especially the honors program—a lot lately. I did not engage in the social aspects much, but some of the coursework and professors have really stuck with me.
Just the other day I bonded with a congressional staffer who studied anthropology in school because I was forced to take an LBAR course (that I didn’t want to take but was required) with a wacky professor who had us out in local cemeteries taking charcoal rubs of gravestones. Many of the research and analytical skills, as well as constructive criticism and tough love I received, from honors programs professors has really shaped my work ethic and way I approach my career.
When things get tough here in DC, I think back to the day my Capstone professor told me he was disappointed in my effort halfway through the project and that I did not have what it takes to be an academic. Let me tell you – that hurt. But rather than let it get me down, I decided that nobody was going to tell me what I was or was not capable of. Since then I’ve gone on to get my MA from The George Washington University and scratched and clawed my way into being the youngest and only female executive in my office.
What I valued most about the A&M Honors program was that they didn’t coddle me. They didn’t tell me I was awesome and then give me my A’s. They made me work! They made me think! They forced me to experience things that were different and difficult. For that, I am very grateful.
We love to share updates and celebrate successes with our Honors graduates! Have something you want to share? Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org